Malta International Music Festival


Maltese Talents & Kyiv virtuosi

15 June - 13 July 2022

Maltese Talents & Kyiv virtuosi

Kyiv Virtuosi Orchestra

Alan Chircop(Malta)

Nadia Debonoviola(Malta)

Etienne Cutajarhorn(Malta)

Robert Samut Hall

Alan Chircop

Over the past twenty years, Maltese conductor Alan Chircop directed several international orchestras and appeared in various theatres, concert halls and festivals in many different countries. Among others, he conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and Westminster Central Hall in London, the London Concert Orchestra, the Sofia Philharmonic – National Orchestra of Bulgaria, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Macedonia, Armenian State Symphony Orchestra and the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, the State Orchestra ‘Academy of Soloists’ of Kazakhstan, L’Orchestra Citta’ di Ravenna and L’Orchestra Sinfonica Duchi d’Acquaviva(Italy), the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, the Leopoli State Symphony Orchestra (Ukraine), L'Orchestre Lyrique de Region Avignon-Provence (France), the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra (Czech Republic), the Mihail Jora Philharmonic of Bacau (Romania), the Karelia State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kislovodsk - Mineralnye Vody State Symphony Orchestra and the Sochi Symphony Orchestra (Russia), the Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra (Bulgaria); the Westsächsische Philharmonie and the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Symphony Orchestra Leipzig (Germany), the Camerata con Cor(d)e of Belgium and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

Alan Chircop’s repertoire is very wide ranging and apart from an extensive symphonic and concerto repertoire, he has directed several opera productions, contemporary music premieres and also different genres arranged for symphonic orchestras.

In 1993 he obtained the Diplome de Fin d’Etudes in pianoforte with distinction at the Conservatoire Regional de Musique in Lyon (France). He pursued his studies at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Music Academy in Leipzig (Germany) obtaining two Masters Degrees: in Pianoforte under the tutorship of Prof. Christoph Taubert (1994-2001) and Orchestral Direction with Prof. Gert Bahner (1997-2003). He also followed a one-year specialization course in Orchestral Direction with Prof. Uros Lajovic at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna (Austria).

Alan Chircop was also the Founder and Principal of the Euro Academy of Music and Arts in Malta, Artistic Director of the Virtuoso Classics Concert Series, and Artistic Director of the Renaissance Cultural Foundation and Principal of the Visual & Performing Arts Schools in Malta.

Since 2014, he is the Artistic Director of the European Foundation for Support of Culture, organising many festivals, competitions and events around the world and often serves as jury member of international music competitions. He is also the artistic director of New Names Malta - National Music Competition.

Nadia Debono


Nadia Debono has been the Viola Principal of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) since 2013. As a member of the MPO she has taken part in a number of concerts in prestigious halls, such as the Vienna Musikverein, Berlin Philharmonie, Frankfurt Opera, Philharmonie Gasteig in Munich, Hall and Grand Hall Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Hall of the Mariinsky theatre in Saint Petersburg, Carnegie Hall New York, Verizon Hall, Philadelphia and Music Centre Strathmore in Washington DC, Dubai Opera, Smetana Hall in Prague and Reduta theatre, Bratislava. Her orchestral experience began in 1996 as a violinist of the Manoel Theatre Orchestra which later became the National Orchestra and eventually the MPO. In 2001 she became co-leader of the MPO, and also played as leader in various concerts, especially in Baroque music concerts. Furthermore, she also performed as a soloist with the orchestra, and in this role she appeared in Bach concerts (Brandenburg Concerto no.5, Triple Concerto for Violin, Flute and Harpsichord), Vivaldi (Autumn from the Four Seasons), Geminiani (Concerto Grosso ‘La follia’), Schnittke (Concerto Grosso no.1) and Piazzolla (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires).

Nadia has also played with various foreign orchestras. In 1995 and 1996, she was selected as a violin member of the Orchestre Des Jeunes de la Méditerranée for two consecutive years, and with this orchestra she took part in concerts in various cities around the Mediterranean. In 1999, she played with Michail Jora Philharmonic Orchestra of Bacau, Romania, and in 2002 she took part in a performance of the whole Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelungs with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, in Limerick and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Furthermore, during her professional years, she has been asked as a guest viola with various orchestras, namely the European Union Orchestra and Italia International Orchestra, under the direction of Ion Marin and Fabio Luisi.

Her music formation began in 1984 when she started violin studies with Joseph Psaila. She later continued with Mario Bisazza and Bulgarian violinist Joachim Atanassov at the Johann Strauss School of Music. During her school studies she performed Mozart Violin Concerto No.3, as a soloist with the School of Music Orchestra. Years later she also began studying the viola, and in 2018 she obtained a Fellowship from the London College of Music, under the supervision of Michael Laus.

Meanwhile, in 2003 she began specializing in Baroque violin performance in London with Kati Debrentzeni. In 2009, Nadia also followed an audition course and masterclass with the European Union Baroque Orchestra, after which she was chosen to play in various concert tours across Europe. She was also a member of the New Century Baroque Orchestra, with which she toured for concerts and also played in CD recordings of Haydn (Nelson Mass) and Mozart (Requiem and Clarinet Concerto). Throughout her career, Nadia has played with many prestigious musicians, including Chiara Banchini, Bojan Cicic, Margaret Faultless, Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, Mira Glodeanu, Edward Higginbottom, Petra Müllejans, Enrico Onofri, Anton Steck and Lars Ulrik Mortensen.

Etienne Cutajar


Born in 1983, Etienne is a native of Malta and took up the horn aged ten at the local band club and under the tuition of Raymond Cremona, Emanuel Spagnol and Paul Borġ. Etienne became third Horn of then the National Orchestra of Malta aged eighteen. He gave up this post after two years in order to pursue a full-time postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music in London, fully funded by the ABRSM. Etienne is nowadays an Associate of the same institution and is also a pupil of Fergus McWilliam and Markus Maskuniitty. For two consecutive years Etienne was principal horn player of the European Union Youth Orchestra under the conductorship of Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davies and Vladimir Ashkenazy. Over the years he has also guested as principal horn with some of the finest orchestras and performing groups of Great Britain as well as internationally, such as; the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto at Casa da Música. In 2006 Etienne was appointed associate principal horn of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra which position he kept and treasured for ten years. In 2016 he gave up this post as so to become principal horn of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a soloist Etienne appeared at the Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall, at some of the finest venues in Malta as well as a few more in central Europe. During the Edinburgh International Festival of 2006, Etienne took a solo part in Schumann's Konzertstück for 4 horns accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Later that year he also particiapted as soloist with the purpously-formed European Brandenurg Ensemble by Trevor Pinnock in recording Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.1. Etienne has also performed for several times both of the Strauss concertos with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, 'Orchestre-Atelier Ostinato' of Paris and the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.

Over the years Etienne has also recorded two solo albums for the record label 'divine art', one is named 'Fantasie', which album features the 'Fantasie Sonata for Horn and Piano' dedicated to him by his dear composer friend the late Charles Camilleri, and the other named 'Mdina'. Etienne is also a founder member of 'Carnyx Brass'.

In his free time Etienne keeps very active as a sportler, mainly as a cyclist in which he has comparatively come on a long way in a relatively short space of time.

Kyiv Virtuosi Orchestra

Grammy Nominated cellist/conductor Dmitry Yablonsky has been Chief Conductor of Kyiv Soloists for 3 years before deciding to organise a renovated orchestra, Kyiv Virtuosi. All musicians were hand picked to join this exclusive ensemble and immediate success was obvious. All concerts in Kyiv are performed to a sold out audience. Musicians in Kyiv Virtuosi are the best chamber music players and professional soloists, who performed all over the world from Paris to Japan and from London to San Francisco, not to mention many countries in South America. In addition to the intense activity as a chamber orchestra, Kyiv Virtuosi are also a symphony orchestra that is very demanded for special projects. In summer 2016, Kyiv Virtuosi chamber orchestra and Kyiv Virtuosi Symphony orchestra were both in residence of Gabala Music Festival in Azerbaijan, and have toured Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland. In February 2017 Dmitry Yablonsky become the initiator of the tour devoted to the 25th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Izrael. There were 17 concerts in the different places such as: Herzliya, Rishon, Le Zion, Motzkin, Tel-Aviv, Rehovot, Beer-Sheva, Haifa, Hahariya, Ashkelon, Or Akiva, Petah Tikva, Modiꞌin.

A symphonic serie with important soloists have been organized at the Franco Theatre in Kyiv, with a great welcome by the audience and specialized critic.

Kyiv Virtuosi perform and tour around the world, and are starting a very vast and intense recording schedule for Naxos Records, with Chamber Symphonies by Shostakovich and Silvestrov among others.


Coming soon...

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